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Friday Roundup: USWNT to Host New Zealand

The U.S. women comfortably beat New Zealand, 2-0 to open the Rio 2016 Olympics. (Photo: USA Today)

Also in today’s roundup, Fishlock suffers knee injury, Thorns sign new players, and Courage to offer local broadcasts

Continuing their trend of frequent domestic friendlies, US Soccer announced today that the WNT will face New Zealand on Friday, September 15 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado, and Tuesday, September 19, at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The team most recently played in Colorado last summer, in the first of a two-game series against Japan as preparation for the Olympics. The game featured an Alex Morgan brace and ended in a 3-3 draw. Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, just north of Denver, is home to the MLS’ Colorado Rapids.

Cincinnati has not hosted the USWNT since November 2008, when they fought to a scoreless draw against the Korea Republic. New Zealand is also not a stranger to Ohio, having played the USWNT at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati in 2004, losing 6-0 on the match that was part of the Fan Celebration Tour following the US’ gold medal victory in the 2004 Olympics.

The Football Ferns are currently in the middle of a dispute with their federation. Captain and most-capped player Abby Erceg, currently leading the North Carolina Courage at the top of NWSL standings, announced she will no longer appear for the team after March’s Cyprus Cup, citing “unfavorable circumstances within the organization.” Boston’s Rosie White and Kansas City’s Katie Bowen also play for the Ferns. The USWNT has not lost to New Zealand since 1987 and most recently faced the team in their opening match of the 2016 Olympics, winning 2-0.

FISHLOCK OUT UNTIL AUGUST

Jess Fishlock may once again be called upon to fill in for Lauren Barnes at center back. (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

Jess Fishlock will be out until August. (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

The Seattle Reign have announced that midfielder Jess Fishlock suffered a grade 2 MCL sprain that saw her leave last week’s game against the Portland Thorns in the first half. She is expected to return at an unspecified point next month.

Fishlock has started all 12 matches for the Reign this year, notching two goals and one assist while being an integral part of their midfield, except for one game in which she filled in at centerback. The Welsh international also missed time last season due to a broken leg.

The Reign are currently in third place with a record of 5-2-5 and play at first-place North Carolina tomorrow.

THORNS SIGN HERNDON AND HUBLY

DC United Women's Ashley Herndon and Northern Virginia's Alyson Gregorowicz battle for the ball. (Photo Copyright: Jennifer Gordon)

The Thorns have signed Ashley Herndon. (Photo Copyright: Jennifer Gordon)

The Portland Thorns announced the signings of two new players, midfielder Ashley Herndon and defender Kelli Hubly. Already hurting from injuries, the Thorns will also be without midfielder/defender Dagný Brynjarsdóttir, midfielder Amandine Henry, and forward Nadia Nadim for the duration of the Euros. Both players were with the Thorns during preseason, where Herndon recorded an assist in a game against the U-23 USWNT.

Herndon is a product of James Madison University and the Washington Spirit Reserves and was named to the NSCAA All-Mid Atlantic Region second team in 2016. She was also the Colonial Athletic Conference Player of the Year that same year. Hubly played for three years at the University of Kentucky before finishing her eligibility at DePaul. She helped Kentucky advance to the SEC tournament title game in 2014. Both players spent time with various US Youth National Teams.

The Thorns are currently 5-4-3 and sit in fifth place. They play at Houston tomorrow.

COURAGE TO AIR LOCAL BROADCASTS

The North Carolina Courage will air four of their remaining home games on local television affiliates of the Capitol Broadcasting Company, beginning with tomorrow’s game against Seattle. The games will also continue to be aired on nwslsoccer.com, via the Go90 app, and Lifetime, as previously scheduled.

North Carolina Football Club’s play by play announcer Dean Linke will handle play by play while Thori Bryan offers color commentary and Kelly Glendenning handles sideline reporting. Bryan is a former defender for the USWNT, making 64 appearances throughout a decade of play. She also played in the WUSA.

{Read More: A Walk Down World Cup Memory Lane | Jen Hoy Still Enjoying the Journey in Chicago}

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